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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  January 13, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace. with vice president biden about this release his plan to prevent more massacres, the battle lines in washington are already forming. ♪ >> chris: both sides in the gun debate are gearing up... for a fight over tighter controls. who will win? we'll ask two people at the center of the argument, neera tanden of the center for
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american progress and larry pratt from gun owners of america. then, a confirmation show down over the president's nominees, to top national security posts. from defense to the cia. the men the president wants in his new cabinet are coming under heavy fire. will the senate approve them? we'll hear from two members of the armed services committee. republican kelly ayotte and democrat richard blumenthal. also the president is taking a more aggressive approach as he begins his second term. we'll ask our sunday panel if mr. obama has the clout to win the fights he's taking on. and our power player of the week... the wife of a washington insider makes her own mark. all, right you now, on fox news sunday. ♪ >> chris: and, hello again from fox news in washington. in the wake of the newtown school shootings washington is getting ready for a battle over how to prevent more acts of mass
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violence. joining me are two people at the center of what is likely to be one of the first big political issues this year, larry pratt, executive director for gun owners of america and neera tanden, president of the center for american progress. welcome to fox news sunday. >> thanks. >> thank you. >> chris: vice president joe biden is expected to present his plan to prevent more massacres on tuchlzesday. but i want to put up remarkable numbers them. nra contributed $20 million to federal campaigns last year. $20 million and gun control groups gave $4,000. and, 50% of the members of the new congress, more than half have an a-rating from the nra. given all of that, how do you and other groups that feel as you do, hope to take on the gun lobby in practical terms? how do you match their money and clout on capitol hill. >> look, the nra spent a lot of
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money on the elections last cycle and didn't have a lot to show for it, especially if you look at the senate and a lot of their candidates lost and, we're looking at return on investment, they had a very low return on investment. but, of course the nra is a very strong lobby and, i think the issue here is, who is going to represent the voices of the american people in this debate? we are talking about things that seem like common sense to the american people and they understand we need to protect people's rights to own a gun in their own home an protect themselves but there is something tragically wrong when there is mass slaughter and we have to solve the problem -- >>... launching a campaign. there is talk about raising money, big grassroots effort. organizational. >> absolutely. and, i think the issue here, really, is bringing the voices in. so, we need the leadership of the president and i expect the president to play a strong leadership role but progressive organizations will be working with the states to show that we
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have the voice and really... and even gun owners who support these proposals, their voices at the table as well. >> chris: mr. pratt, i think you would agree the national wave of horror over the slaughter of those 20 small children in newtown last month, do you see any sign that ms. tanden and her allies can change the national conversation and get members of congress to as if the first tough gun controls since 1994? >> we don't think there is much likelihood that the congress is going to move on making gun control laws worse than they are. in fact, already, there are a couple of bills that have been put in, one by representative steve stockman, outside of how often that would remove the gun-free zones that have been so much like a magnet to invite mass murderers into zones where they know nobody else will be able to shoot back. and, that, i think, is where the debate is likely to shift.
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are we really better off when we say no defense is a good defense? >> chris: i want to put up an ad gun control advocates have start running, against democratic senator -- new senator heidi hidecamp of north dakota after she said some of the president's ideas about gun control are extreme. mr. pratt, you see the ad there. will it work? can ms. camden and her allies, and they've suggested they can drive a wedge between people like you and the heads of the nra, and some of their members may not be as hard-line as you guys are on gun controls? >> well, i think the senator from north dakota is reflecting the views of the people that sent her to washington. so i don't think there is much room to drive any wedge, i think she is representing them faithfully and it is noteworthy that a democrat who would be under a lot of pressure within their caucus to take a gun control point of view, is not
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having anything of it. >> that is not true. she is -- she's heard from people from both sides of the issue and now said that she is open to discussion of these issues. i mean, i think the challenge here for the leaders, of the nra and the leadership of the gun movement, it's, is that 74% of nra members, over 80% of gun owners, recognize we have a problem and, they want an inclusive background check system and want to keep the guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous. this is just common sense, mothers, fathers, parents in the united states, over 75% of parents think we need to take much stronger action to strengthen our gun laws. so, i think the issue here is really not, you know, one extreme versus another. it is the broad middle, rising up and saying, you know what? we can do something about it. after newtown the idea that we
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do nothing is a tragedy. >> chris: let's look at some of the ideas -- and he has been open about them, vice president biden is suggesting and will offer to the president on tuesday. new limits on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold 30 rounds, maybe even 100 rounds. universal background checks. and a crack down on gun trafficking. which of those, that i specifically mentioned, do you think would do the most good in terms of solving the problem and which of those do you think is most likely to get through congress? >> well, the universal background checks is really important. right now, 40% of guns sold in the united states don't have any check system. that is more than swiss cheese, you know? so we really need to address that challenge. i think -- those are areas, where, again, gun owners support a comprehensive gun check system. so, i think that is an area where, hopefully, there can be bipartisan support. and some of these issues will be tougher but once the president engages in a conversation with
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the american people, he has shown time and time again, when the american people get engaged that is how you change washington. >> chris: let's pick up on that. you and the nra and other gun rights groups say the problem is not the weapons, it is the person who is firing the weapon. so, let's talk about universal background checks, because, i was surprised to find out, is suggested in 40% of the sales there is no such screen on the person buying the gun. what is wrong with universal background checks. >> it is false security to think somehow we'll spot problems when there's really no way to spot these problems. some of the most horrendous of the mass murders that have occurred recently including the one in newtown would not have been stopped by a background check. the gun is stolen. the person has no prior criminal record. and, so, to assume that this is going to be our firewall against -- >> i don't think anybody is saying that it is a firewall. what is wrong with the idea, if you get a gun whether you buy
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from a registered dealer or a private sale, that you have to go through background checks just in case, to find out whether somebody has one or has a mental health problem. >> we are wasting our time and going in that direction when we should be talking about doing away with the gun-free zones which have been so convenient, such a magnet to those who would come and slaughter lots of people knowing no one will be legally able to defend themselves in these zones. that is where we are really making -- >> let me pick up on that, because, even barbara boxer -- and i say that, because she's a liberal, pro gun control senator from california is talking about $50 million for federal funding, of putting more police, more armed security in schools. >> look, we had situations where people are armed. we have had situations where columbine, other places, where there are armed guards and they haven't protected people. so, here's the issue... >> chris: aren't you saying the
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same thing mr. pratt is -- mr. pratt said, well it one have helped in this case and maybe wouldn't have helped in columbine, but maybe another case. >> you are absolutely right. and i'm willing to consider those actions and i happy larry pratt is willing to consider having the simple thing, police officers want. you know, law enforcement wants, is a background check system. i think the challenge of the background system, look at the virginia tech shooting, it was because of a faulty background check system. he shouldn't have had a gun, he had problems with mental illness and yet, our faulty system allows it to happen. so, people would be protected today and would be alive today, if we had these kinds of things in place. >> chris: joe biden indicate in addition to the legislative action, that he will suggest to the president, the president can also take executive action, but, not on big things like banning guns or universal background checks. what kinds of things do you believe the president can do on
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an executive action basis, unilateral basis, that could make a difference? >> he can start by ensuring that the federal government, people within the federal government, turn over their records, also, through the background check system and, so the defense department needs to do that -- >> more information-sharing. >> more information-sharing. >> chris: that kind of executive action? >> again, we are just avoiding the reality that we have been moving in the direction that somehow self-defense is not valid. that we can somehow protect ourselves by this background check idea. and, in fact, background checks wouldn't have stopped most of the last of these mass murders that have occurred. the gun gets stolen and the person has no background, that would have popped up, so, we have got to face the reality that we have got to empower average people including teachers, and other people in schools, to be able to defend themselves. >> chris: i want to get into one last issue. a bigger issue, you say, the
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problem here is president obama's disdain for the right to bear arms and, he -- >> he learned from his example. >> chris: when -- when the supreme court ruled on the second amendment in the 2008, heller case in d.c., i want to put up what justice scalia said: it seems to us, no doubt on the base of text and history, that the 2nd amendment conferred an individual right to bear arms. of course, the right was not unlimited. in fact, in his decision he talked about restrictions on what kinds of guns can be sold and who can buy them and, where they can be carried. so, yes, he said, there is a 2nd amendment individual right but didn't say it is without limits. >> well, that was unfortunate, because, the amendment does provide its own degree of scrutiny. it says shall not be infringed.
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and, we know that at least one justice, mr. thomas, takes that point of view. this is not something where the government is supposed to be free to tell we, the people, the government's boss, how much -- how far we can go with though second amendment. the second amendment is there to constrain the government. >> chris: you think that scalia was wrong when he said that that right is not unlimited? >> he was not speaking from a constitutional perspective. >> chris: and, finally -- >> that was the supreme court justice. >> chris: you disagree with supreme court justices all the time. >> i agree. but i'm surprised he is disagreeing with justice scalia on this issue. >> chris: you talked earlier about presidential leadership and you worked in the obama white house. the president has to deal with the debt ceiling and wants to pass major immigration reform and wants to do something about climate change. has he told you, they told you, how much political capital he is willing to spend on what will be a very tough fight? >> you know, i think that the
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president has demonstrated tremendous leadership on this issue. i think the country rallied around him. and, his leadership after newtown because he really was a voice for those parents who lost they child... >> chris: he told you... >> and i see from his actions, we hear from the white house, and, we hear from the vice president, that they are going to lay down political capital on this issue. and i think the one thing i would say to this, people like larry and others who say we can't do anything about these issues, is that where there is confirmed background checks or dealing with high capacity magazines which was an issue in newtown, we can take action and to say we should do nothing, doesn't say anything to the parents in newtown who lost those children in that tragedy. >> chris: thank you for joining us today and, we'll stay on top of what is sure to be one of the first top contentious issues on
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>> chris: president obama announced that a national security team he wants for his second term and, bruising confirmation battles are shaping up over several picks, especially former senator chuck hagel for secretary of defense. joining me now are two key
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members of the senate armed services committee. republican kelly ayotte and democrat richard blumenthal. welcome to fox news sunday. i want to pick up briefly on the conversation we had in the last segment about guns. senator you have an a-rating from the nra and senator blumenthal, an f-rating from the nra. when you look at the ideas that vice president biden is talking about and will submit to the president on tuesday, i want to ask you both what you can support. senator ayotte, can you support the idea of universal background checks. >> chris, let me say i think, i think it would be important that we have the thoughtful discussion about this. we have -- i didn't hear a lot of discussion this morning with your prior guests about also our mental healthsystem. my background before serving in the senate, i was a homicide prosecutor and i come at it from a perspective, taking away the rights of law abiding citizens
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will not stop a deranged individual or a criminal. that said, should we look at improving our background check system? i'm willing to listen to what proposals come forward on that. but, again, i don't know that that wouldn't have stopped what happened in newtown, and i think we need to be thoughtful in how we go forward with what happens and make sure that whatever is done, actually, is a solution to the problem. >> chris: senator blumenthal, you, of course, represent newtown, connecticut, though scene of that horrific shooting. what are the chances, the biden plan or elements in it could get through congress. >> not only do i represent the people of newtown but i really lived through that very searing, painful grief in the weeks afterwards, speaking with families and the newtown community and, anyone who lived through that period of time has been changed.
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and i think the nation has been transformed, in the debate, and the discussions and conversations we are having about gun violence prevention now. i think the nation is ready for more thorough background checks, as we cover the 40%, that now are not covered, i think the nation's ready for a ban on assault weapons, and high capacity magazines, and, most important, chris, i think there is common ground here in the need for better enforcement of the existing laws. let me give you one very, very important example. we have no background checks now on purchases of ammunition. it is against the law for a fugitive, a felon, a deranged person, someone seriously mentally ill, someone under a court order for domestic violence, to purchase ammunition, and firearms. but there are no background checks on ammunition. so someone can walk into a walmart and buy a shopping cart full of ammunition, walk out, pay, no questions asked.
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that is why i have proposed that we have background checks not only on firearms, but also ammunition and prohibit the teflon tip and incendiary bullets. the bullets along with the firearms are what we need to focus on. and, my background also, is law enforcement. >> chris: i do want to get to national security. as i say, you are both members of the senate armed services committee which will be holding the hearings on chuck hagel as new defense secretary. let's look at some of the issues, the critics have raised about him. on iran, hagel voted against sanctions. he says unilateral measures, isolate us. and opposed naming the revolutionary guards as terrorist, because he says president bush might have used that as cover for a military attack. on israel, he said the u.s. should talk to hamas, opposed declaring hezbollah a terrorist organization, and also said -- this is the quote -- the jewish
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lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. senator ayotte, how troubled are you by the hagel nomination. >> chris, let me say i am very troubled. i think the hearings on this nomination are going to be consequential. i have not made up my mind, but here's where we are, put up his prior positions, it makes me wonder, it perplexes me why the president nominated senator hagel. one of the things that troubles me that you didn't put up is the reaction of iran, one of the greatest threats we face is that iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, some his prior statements seem to suggest he thinks we can contain iran and that is against 99 senators, we recently voted and richard blumenthal is a great supporter of that, that our policy cannot be to contain a nuclear armed iran. iran, this week, kind of reacted favorably somewhat. there were statements favorable to his nomination, in fact, they said they were hopeful that with
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his nomination, they hoped we'd change our policies. what i want to make sure is that iran is actually not hopeful, but they are fearful as a result of our nominee for secretary of defense, because that will cause them to stop marching toward acquiring a nuclear weapon, not hope we'll change our policies, they need to change their policies. >> chris: it seems you are leaning against his nomination at this point. >> it is fair to say, if you look at his prior positions, that he has a lot of questions to answer about this. and, i'm deeply troubled by it and i also wonder, what message are we sending to iran, what message are we sending to israel and i'm perplexed the president nominated him, given the statements he made during the presidential campaign. >> chris: senator blumenthal: are you comfortable with his position on iran and israel? >> i want to ask questions about those positions. i am not comfortable yet. i want to ask him questions about those two issues.
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but, two points have to be stressed. number one, chuck hagel is someone of stature. he was a war hero, a combat veteran, a person of enormous personal distinction in his record of public service, in the senate, but, also, in uniform, and, second, you know, there are tremendously consequential issues that are equally important to ask about during this hearing. for example, the shift of focus to the asia-pacific theatre. will we have the undersea war fare capability as well as air superiority to defend our strategy in that part of the world? submarines, the joint strike fighter, tremendously important to us. i want to ask senator hagel about his positions on those issues. i think we have reached a point in this country, unfortunately, where positions are taken on nominees, very dramatic, and
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staunch positions, before they have the opportunity to give their own -- >> to make it clear. you are not. this is a democratic president, you are at this point not prepared to say you support the hagel nomination. >> i think senator hagel will be approved and i think the history of nominees shows and i think his own qualifications also demonstrate that he has the capacity. but i want to know his positions on those issues. and i reserve judgment until i hear his responses. >> chris: i want to get to broaden this out. the bigger issue with all of the president's national security picks it seems to me, senator ayotte is he seems to have come down firmly on the side of pursuing a light footprint strategy in his second term, ending the wars we are in, limiting new interventions and relying more on drones and commando, you know, special operations forces, as well as multi-lateral actions. as you look at that, are you comfortable with that as a
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foreign policy approach? >> well, i'm concerned, chris, about what this says and, let's step back for a minute, exhibit a on light footprint. what happened in the consulate in benghazi? the fact that security was not what it should have been there. the fact that we relied on local militias that there was a rise of activity, by al qaeda-inspired militias in the area and we didn't have the proper security there and then during that attack didn't have the response within the 7--hour period we needed to obviously save lives. but, let's step back further from that, what we have seen is a pattern of the president, on numerous occasions where, none of us want to send men and women to war, if we don't have to. and, obviously we want to bring them home as quickly as possible, but example a. another example, iraq. we -- he had the recommendations of his general, 15 to 18,000 troops as a follow-on and then
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it was pared down to 3,000. they couldn't negotiate the status of forces agreement and now we have al qaeda activity in iraq and iran playing a greater role and we are seeing the same thing in afghanistan, right now. the problem is, the light footprint, if you don't leave the proper follow-on in afghanistan and we have seen a pattern where he wants to withdraw, during the fighting season, the election season when no military commander recommended it, we are seeing the same now with the recent discussions with president karzai, and, the worry is, is that a light footprint approach can leave us in a situation where the taliban come back in power, where al qaeda is again given a launching pad to commit attacks against our country, so i am concerned about this approach. >> chris: and, senator blumenthal, generally speaking, light footprint, less boots on the ground, less intervention,
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small, drone operations, multi-lateral operations. >> a lean, agile, very effective special operations force is america's future in many parts of the world in fighting terrorism and, special operations and fields and drones together, in terms of intelligence gathering as well as an effective fighting force, can be tremendously effective. what we need to do, chris, is define the mission. and that will, in turn, determine the size of the foot print. for example in afghanistan, counterterrorism, fighting special operations as well as training will require some footprint on the ground. the question is, how many. and i think kelly ayotte is absolutely right to be focused on these issues. by the way, we have worked together on a very bipartisan way. she and senator john mccain and senator graham and myself, senator casey... >> i have respect for richard on these issues. >> members of the armed services
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committee we'll continue to work together, because there is no republican or democrat approach to national security. it ought to be one approach. >> chris: we have to leave it there, senators, we want to thank you both. thanks for coming in today. always good to talk with both of you. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: up next we'll ask our sunday group about the president's light footprint policy and the national security team he has chosen to make it work. ♪ 5-2550 investors want. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like no atm fees, worldwide. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and no nuisance fees. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 plus deposit checks with mobile deposit. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and manage your cash and investments tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab's mobile app. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 no wonder schwab bank has grown to over 70 billion in assets. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so if you're looking for a bank that's in your corner, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 not just on the corner... tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 call, click or visit to start banking with schwab bank today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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♪ >> president barack obama: with the devastating blows we have struck against al qaeda, our
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core objective, the reason we went to war in the first place, is now within reach. ensuring that al qaeda can never again use afghanistan to launch attacks against our country. >> chris: president obama, this week, announcing a faster timetable for getting out of afghanistan. time now for our sunday group, brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. bob woodward, of the "washington post," and author of the book "the price of politics." bill kristol of the weekly standard. and, former democratic senator evan byah. well, the president made it clear that week that if it is not a rush for the exits in afghanistan, it is certainly a brisk walk in that direction, bret. he sped up the timetable for moving from a lean combat role to an advisory mission and all signs are he'll commit fewer troops to afghanistan after 2014, than u.s. commanders want. question, two questions: what do you make of that and what do you make of all of this talk as we discussed with the
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senators, a light footprint of foreign policy in the second term? >> i hope the president is right and we're near the moment, as he suggests, where we can say mission accomplished in afghanistan, al qaeda can never run free here again and use afghanistan as a base for operations, the fear of course is he is not right and, will not be sufficient to further the goal and it gets, of course, to the question of his nominee for defense, and whether that nominee for defense, if he were to listen to the commanders and think their case was more powerful would be willing to tell the president so and would the president be willing to listen to him? >> chris: bob, same question. afghanistan and the whole idea beyond afghanistan, writ large, light footprint? >> he believes in it. i did a whole book, obama's afghan policy and president obama is the one who added 30,000 troops initially, in 2009, a surge much bigger than george w. bush's surge in iraq.
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they've looked at it, and they think we can get out of -- remember, it is a new world now. we are kind of in a post -- the transition out of a post superpower world. and, obama and his team are trying to find a way to adapt to that and i think getting out of afghanistan makes sense. the question is, you needed some sort of insurance policy. and that would be some sort of troops left behind. what that number is, is up in the air, obviously. >> chris: as one of the founding members of neoconservative movement, bill. what do you make of all of this? >> well, getting out of afghanistan. that is what president obama wants to do. and i think it is completely irresponsible but it will be hard for the senate or the house to do so and, no serious analyst thinks you can maintain -- even support counterterrorism
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operations, can't even support special forces or drones with 2, 3, 4 thousand troops, and, then, you say, well the agency can do it secretly, the cia will not pull back rapidly and dramatically in afghanistan. they need protection, too. so president obama is determined us to a level below which we can function seriously there and i think it is a dangerous policy and i hope the congress looks at it and i hope president obama explains to the american people, honestly what he is doing, if he decided that, that is his prerogative and he should tell them that and explain why he ordered the surge bob mentioned, t 2, 3, 4 years ago and, sent an awful lot of kids over there, why he is getting out. >> chris: you talked about congress and the other subject, it comes as the president named a new national security team, and as i discussed with the senators, the most controversial pick is chuck hagel for defense secretary. here's what he said when he was
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named. >> i'll do my best for our country. for those i represent at the pentagon. and for all of our citizens. and, in president, i will always give you my honest and most informed counsel. >> chris: the question, bill, is what kind of counsel he'll give. we talked with the senators about his positions he has taken on israel and iran and what we didn't mention is he said he thinks the pentagon budget is bloated and needs to be pared down. your comments on hagel. >> in responding to leon panetta, the current secretary of defense, comment after sequester, it would be devastating to the pentagon and, he is worried about these cuts an chuck hagel, dismissed any problem and said the pentagon budget is bloated and, i don't think he'll make a good secretary of defense and we'll see if they agree with that. >> chris: senator, your thoughts about him as secretary of defense? >> i think what is important, here, chris, to remember is that
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it is not what president bill kristol or president evan byah might want. it is what president obama wants, there is a long history of deference to the president's judgment and regardless of who the secretary of defense is, they'll have to recognize certain economic and fiscal realities. and, part of that is going to be trimming the pentagon budget. so, personally, he served our country, he has been wounded in combat and there is nothing to personally disqualify him there and the hearings and personal meeting will give the senator a great opportunity... >> chris: when you hear the statements he has made on iran, on israel... >> there is a difference of opinions on these issues but that is not surprising. what is important, he has the president's trust and represents the president's thinking and in these hearings and meetings, chris, his critics will have an opportunity to ask him about his views about israel and how we deal with iran and you will find senator hagel will be clear and strong in his support of israel and lay out a strategy for dealing with the iranian
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program. >> i don't think the most important thing is whether he has the president's trust, that is obvious and wouldn't have been chosen if he hadn't and the moist important thing is whether he has the judgment to make the right decisions at a time of austerity which will definitely affect the pentagon and probably should but must be done expertly and well and shrewdly so we don't diminish the strength of our military. the president keeps talking about how it remains the most powerful fighting force in history and so on and so forth. that will not necessarily end up that way, if the job of paring back pentagon spending isn't done deftly. one questions whether senator hagel, who for all of his service is not and never has been a defense intellectual and so forth and it is fair to question and his judgment is the key and it is the most important thing. >> well, it is -- being a defense intellectual, hagel served in vietnam as an enlisted sergeant. is a tribute to him.
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and obama. that they would pick somebody like this. i served in the navy during the vietnam era and i remember that and the lessons of vietnam really are imbedded in those who were there. and i think that is really good, and i think the issue really is, when will we go to war? how will we use military force? and what obama and hagel, i think, are saying here, is we will be very restrained. but, i think they both realize and i found in doing this book on obama, he's willing to use force. there is no question about that. but, it is with a lot of cautioned restraint and, let's face it, obama's not going to bring back don rumsfeld for a third term, as secretary of defense. >>... in the application of military force. what you want to have, though, is restraint by choice, and not
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because you must be restrained because you lack the force necessary for certain missions. so that is the question. do we have -- are we being restrained because we have to or because we decide to? >> briefly -- >> the important thing to remember is we will not have a secretary of defense, who is out there freelancing making these decisions on his or her own. it will be judgment made in the white house an ultimately the president is accountable for all of this and his views were judged in november and that was decided and now he has an opportunity to implement the policies. >> chris: we have to take a break, the politics of gun control as president obama talks tough heading into his second term. eathe, and how that feels. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. eathe, and how that feels. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily
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>> chris: still to come our power player of the week. >> my interest came not by choice. >> chris: she has written a novel about a 13-year-old girl going through the same experience. >> you think, how will i get through this? jwwñ
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>> i think we can do a great deal without in any way imposing on or impinging on the rights of the 2nd amendment. >> it became very clear, very early that they were not looking to hear from gun owners, they were looking to blame gun owners. >> chris: the vice president and the nra with very different takes on the plan for new gun
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control. mr. biden will send to the president this week and we're back now with the panel. well, the obama white house is clearly determined to keep up the pressure for more gun controls in the wake of newtown. bill, do you see any sign -- and you heard the conversation, between neera tanden and larry pratt of a new willingness on congress to pass this kind of legislation? >> not much. they might consider various measures but ultimately they are not really going to do much about it, unfortunately. the mass killings we've had. the president didn't campaign on gun control and second term presidents do well when they actually implement things they've told the voters they are going to focus on. president obama was going to focus on the economy and he was israel, and, nominated one of the most anti-israel people, for secretary of defense, and, they didn't -- >> we did have newtown. >> we did but one incident doesn't tell you what policy should be and in any case, the
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particular thing, vice president joe biden is proposing would have nothing to do with newtown, there is not a single proposal on the menu that would have stopped, mr. lanza from buying and having the guns, apparently. >> there would have been a registry and people would have known she had those guns. >> chris: i was astonished to learn the fact that during the 2012 campaign, the nra contributed $20 million to various candidates and the gun control groups, $4,000 and more than 50% of the people on capitol hill have an a-rating with the nra. do you see any movement on this issue? >> it is very difficult, heavy lift, chris. think back to when bill clinton tried it in 1993, a large majority of democrats in the house of representatives and was barely able to get anything done and now the republicans control the house of representatives and you put your finger on it, those
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taking additional steps, they are better organized and funded than the advocates and my best guess is most of the action here will be in the regulatory arena and the administration will look to see what they can do on their own, absent much prospect ultimately for significant legislation. >> chris: i want to broaden the conversation, because, whether the fiscal cliff or gun control, story of the day about a major immigration reform movement by the president, he seems to be, as he prepares for the inaugural, a more combative president, more confrontational, less interested even in the beginning in compromise. one, do you agree and, two, what does it say to you about prospects for his second term. >> i do and it is interesting. he was elected in by a more significant margin, notably more significant margin than he was reelected. he was not nearly the in your face guy in o- -- 2009-2010,
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other than the obamacare legislation, the public didn't like and the stimulus. he didn't have this level of -- his level of intensity about things, and his supporters were insisting, throughout the day, he's really a moderate. he's really a moderate but he doesn't seem like a moderate now, having lost the congress... the house of representatives, republicans hold in the 2012 election, the house, he's in the less strong position than he was in '08-'09, and yet is coming on more aggressively. one wonders if it will end well for him. >> it will and i think an interesting question, going on, is what is the role for the republican house in divided government? and what is obama's role? and, we'll have to face that and the republicans, i think, today and tomorrow, they are having leadership -- a leadership retreat and ter end of the week
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all the house republicans are meeting and they have to define what is that role, and, hopefully, gun control connects to immigration, connects to all the spending and taxes, issues and will they have some way where they'll say, let's work together or are we going to have four more years of this petty, stupid fighting on things that makes everyone look ridiculous, and no one comes out the winner. >> >> chris: before i get to you -- and what about the president's side of it? do you agree that he has taken a more combative tone since the election? >> he has. but, you know, we were going to have tax increases for everyone and he, and to speaker boehner's credit. they wound up agreeing and did biden and mcconnell, that we're going to give 99% of the people in this country a permanent tax
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cut. that is a big accomplishment and of course everyone dumped on it when it happened but the 99% of the people who got the tax cut, i think, are quite happy. i think they haven't figured out a strategy in the white house, just like the republicans don't have one. >> there are two issues, issues the president ran on is the election campaign and, he has no credit abilities to say, i won the re-election, and i think he can say to democratic members of congress, this is -- and to republican members, can say, you need to compromise with me on that and that was taxes, and, ran explicitly on raising taxes on the wealthy. >> chris: immigration. >> and immigration reform, and those two issues, taxes an immigration reform he has a good chance of holding a good chunk of his party an persuading republicans, look, let's work something out and he didn't run on gun control and back to hagel, the nomination, he want as pro israel and tough on iran, pro iran sanctions, guy and now nominated a defense secretary who is not on board of that and
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i think republicans feel no compunction about opposing senator hagel and democrats can say, wait, we didn't run on that issue in 2012 -- >> there are questions about it and he said some things but i think if he were here and his confirmation hearing he'll be pro israel... >> he didn't mean it when he said fellow senators were intimidated by the jewish lobby. >> no. that was years ago. >> chris: let me broaden it out, more, senator, if you look over recent history, whether reagan, whether it is clinton, whether it is bush 43, second-term presidents tend to have problems. one, why do you think that is, in their second terms, and, what do you think -- do you see you any warning signs that president obama may be falling into some of the same traps. >> it reminds me when i first became issue and i was confronted with a difficult issue i never heard of and i look at my chief of staff and i
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said, most of the easy decisions were made before we got here, the hanging fruit is picked in the first term. you have more political capital to use in the first term and, it is a depreciating asset as you move on, month by month in the second term and that is why the president is being more aggressive now. the reality is two-fold. one, the political division -- and the core philosophical differences between the two parties now are greater than i can ever remember, making compromise an progress more difficult and the fiscal and economic challenges we have hanging over our head will use most of the legislative capital, meaning a lot of the action in the next couple of years will be in the regulatory arena, consolidating the affordable care act, dodd-frank and things like that and, i am glad you are sitting down, in a matter of months minds will quickly turn to the midterm elections, and, thinking if the democrats open the house, an open field running again and republicans will say we need to keep it to force the president to compromise in his
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final two years. >> chris: and you say you wonder whether it will end well, do you worry or have concerns... >> the fiscal negotiations, spending and taxes, the taxes one is closed. come down to this: the reason we can't get a deal is, that for each party, each party is trying to get from the negotiations, what they are asked to give up in negotiations, hard to get a deal that way. >> chris: thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check out panel plus where our group picks up with the discussion on our web site, and they'll post the video before noon eastern time and make sure and follow us on twitt twitter @foxnewssunday. up next our power player of the week. ♪ i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people
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we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term. ♪ >> chris: up until now she has let her husband lead a public life while he's as private as she can be in washington, and has now decided to step forward. here's our power player of the week. ♪ >> it is universal. >> chris: helen geithner is talking about grief. for the last 20 years, she has worked as a counselor, a professor, now, a novelist. to help people deal with loss. >> telling their story, the happiness, the sad memories, it is all part of coming to terms with this. >> chris: in case you wonder, yes, she's the wife of treasury tim geithner. >> timothy geithner and carol
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geithner. >> chris: but that may be the least interesting part of her story. >> my interest came not by choice. it was because my mother died when i was 25. >> chris: her mom, portia, died of cancer and carol was her primary care giver in her final years. now, carol has written a novel, called "if only." about a 13-year-old girl, going through the same experience. >> in our house life was not as usual. we didn't put up our decorations, our house is permanently changed. our house is full of sadness. no holiday cheer. >> how does he get through the day and the week and the year without a mom? she was with her dad, and siblings and he's struggling with his own grief and they have to find a way, to support each other. >> chris: in the book, she creates a memorial quilt from swatches of her mother's belongings. carol did it in real life. why did she decide to write about a young teen?
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it is hard for them to ask for adult help, as you know, with teenagers, it is kind of like this, so, if you don't find a way to reach out to them they are unlikely to reach out to you. >> chris: carol and tim geithner met as students at dartmouth college and have been married 27 years. >> i understand that you considered writing this book under your maiden name? how come? >> i didn't want it to be connected to tim, or his work. i wanted it to really be just about the topic. but, i have been married for more than half my life and i changed my name to geithner. at the age of 23. and, i'm proud of him. so, i didn't want to -- decided that didn't feel right. >> i feel incredibly fortunate, that my wife carol and my family have been willing to allow me to do this. >> chris: how happy are you that your husband is going to be leaving the firing line? >> happy. the loss of privacy is pretty profound and, in a job like
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that, especially at a time of national crisis, and we have missed him at so many family occasions, so i look forward to him being more available. >> chris: while her husband will be looking for a new job, carol plans to keep helping people who have suffered a loss. and she's already writing another book. >> when they come in, feeling stuck or depressed, or just kind of undone, in some way or another, to be able to have friends, like i had... it is wonderful. >> chris: carol geithner says her new book is aimed at older teens and while there is another death in it, she says it goes beyond the issue of grief. that's it for today. have a great week and we'll see that's it for today. have a great week and we'll see you next fox news sunday. captioning by, closed captioning services, inc.


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